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Six Simple Workload Tips Managing Maximum Performance Without Making Work Your Life

160927 6 Simple Workload Tips - Laura chilling out reading Pride & Prejudice

Ever since the Millennial generation entered the workforce, we're seen a resurgence in the idea that "work" and "life" represent two distinct things: i.e., that we can excel at our jobs and still have an enjoyable life outside the office. Although I personally belong to "Generation X," I've been in the vanguard of this movement: I've dedicated my career to teaching people how to achieve maximum results in the minimum amount of time, so they can get out of the office on time (or at least earlier) and spend more time with their friends and families and hobbies. I try to practice what I preach, too. You can be super-efficient without chaining yourself to your desk, no matter how you may sometimes feel ( … [Read more...]

Five Tips to Work Productively from Home: Whether You Telecommute Occasionally or Always

160920 5 Tips for Working at Home - Laura working in the attic hiding from kids

"On the fourth day of telecommuting, I realized that clothes are totally unnecessary."—Scott Adams, American cartoonist. Whether you call it distance working, telecommuting, or freelancing, technology has made working from home more effective and productive than ever before ( … [Read more...]

Five Reasons to Take Massive Action: Making Busyness Your Business

Five Reasons to Take Massive Action: Making Busyness Your Business

"Do not wait to strike until the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking."—William Buell Sprague, 19th Century American clergyman. One theme I've emphasized repeatedly in my writings is that "busy" doesn't necessarily mean "productive." Just because you're staying busy doesn't mean you're accomplishing anything important. Checking 30 tiny tasks off your to-do list may not prove nearly as significant (or as profitable) as completing one high-priority project. To boost your productivity, work hard and constantly on the high-priority tasks that matter the most. ( Multilevel marketers are fond of the term "massive action." I find this a handy synonym for good, productive work, though some observers disparage the term, assuming it refers only to staying busy, rather than staying busy with i … [Read more...]

Business Culture

business culture

[TRANSCRIPT] If you have a culture of tardiness, it’s easy to spot. If a meeting is supposed to start at 2:00, it actually begins at 2:15. This culture of tardiness results in people showing up at 2:15 for a 2:00 meeting, because that behavior has been reinforced and rewarded with no penalties, usually by the leadership. And don’t just brush it off by telling me, “Oh, well that’s just our culture.” It’s rude and doesn’t respect others’ time. If you just waive it off, you’re using it as an excuse to enable unprofessional behaviors. You must work to change the culture over time. Six months to a year from now, you can have an “on time” culture if you call attention to it, create some protocols, and instill discipline in yourself and others who don’t follow the rules. Culture changes based on y … [Read more...]

Four Benefits of Overcoming Obstacles: Why Beating the Odds is Good for You

Four Benefits of Overcoming Obstacles: Why Beating the Odds is Good for You by Laura Stack #productivity

"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome." Booker T. Washington, African-American educator and head of the Tuskegee Institute. As much as we're told—and tell ourselves—to reframe challenges as opportunities and to stretch ourselves to reach new goals, on a day-to-day basis, it's hard to keep the faith. We know what we should do, but in the hustle and flow of our jobs, we often forget—especially when we have too much on our plates for more than a few days. But ironically, conquering obstacles can be the experiences that teach us the most, ( … [Read more...]

Maximizing Your Results

maximizing your results laura stack

[TRANSCRIPT]  Why should you care about being productive? Why do you want to be efficient, organized, use your email correctly, manage your time, set boundaries, say no, and focus on value? It all comes down to achieving maximum results in the minimum amount of time. If you can be more efficient at work and save 60 minutes a day by using the strategies we discussed today, you can get out of the office on time or at least a little earlier and go home to the people that you love. That is what it is all about. It’s not about saving time so you can cram more in. Productivity is about love—loving your job and family with equal passion and not sacrificing one for the other. … [Read more...]

Five Interruptions NOT to Avoid: Why Some Distractions Are Important

Five Interruptions NOT to Avoid: Why Some Distractions Are Important

"One way to boost our will power and focus is to manage our distractions instead of letting them manage us."—Daniel Goleman, American author and psychologist Imagine a completely distraction-free office, where you can focus totally and productively, where no one ever calls you, chats outside your office in the hallway, plays their music too loudly, or pops in for a quick question. Imagine a place where you could spend hours upon hours single-tasking to your heart's content, churning out work by the barrel-load. Wouldn't that be heaven? I’m thinking NO. Oh maybe for a time, but it gets old. Unless you're a solitary worker with no communications with others (a rare occurrence in this era), social interaction remains a must. Although I'm a big believer in warding off most dis … [Read more...]

Change Should Be the Middle Name of Every Business

Top productivity speaker Laura Stack on Change

[TRANSCRIPT] Change should actually be the middle name of every business. In his latest book, Playing To Win, A.G.’s Lafley talks about the five things that every leader should do to execute strategy and get the company to win. And, ultimately, all five come down to change. The companies that don’t change will go the way of the dinosaurs. No one really agrees on what happened to the dinosaurs; however everyone agrees they are dead. And it has something to do with their inability to change. Think about companies like Motorola, Kodak, Palm, Saab, Atari, Myspace, and Borders. What do they have in common? They are either in steep decline or demise because of their inability to stay relevant, to be flexible, and to change. At some level, even though it’s not always fun, we should be glad and rel … [Read more...]

Five Ways to Acceptance: Dealing with Factors Beyond Your Control

Five Ways to Acceptance: Dealing with Factors Beyond Your Control

"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."—Reinhold Neibuhr, American theologian. Like it or not, many of life's circumstances—even within the average corporate office—are beyond our control. The weather, for instance, remains outside humanity's bailiwick; we can try to predict it two or three days out, but in Denver we still can't halt the snowstorms that close the airport right before Christmas or the hailstorms that ruin our roofs. At work, unless you’re the CEO or on the board of directors, we have little control over the decisions of those higher in the organizational hierarchy. We have even less control over the actions of the world at large. But being human, we worry about these … [Read more...]